DIY CNC Dust Collection

CNC machines are great at churning out custom parts, but they tend to make a mess in the process. [Darcy] has built up his own CNC dust collection rig to collect the dust and keep his workspace clean.

To capture the dust, a custom dust skirt encloses the cutting tool and directs the vacuum. This was made by gluing acrylic parts together, creating a box that contains the dust and provides a connection for the vacuum system.

For $1, [Darcy] built a cyclone dust extractor. This spins air around in circles, causing the dust to fall to the bottom of a container. The result is less dust reaching the vacuum, and much less money spent on vacuum bags.

Since the vacuum makes quite a bit of noise, a muffler was needed. This is just a simple wood box to contain the machine. It can also be used to vent the exhaust outside to further prevent polluting the workspace.

While we’ve seen some similar builds in the past, [Darcy]’s design could be helpful for those looking to build their own system. He also gives us a video which shows the effectiveness of the dust skirt, which you can find after the break.

25 thoughts on “DIY CNC Dust Collection

    1. Your comment was probably in jest but just curious; why is it crazy to collect obscure things? The other day we had somebody who collected and cataloged batteries and flashlights. They didn’t appear particularly crazy. In fact, it was actually rather informative. I think the world is a better place with somebody taking on such a task and sharing it with the rest of the world.

      Interestingly, belly buttons have a rather interesting array of quirks.

      One person’s belly button “harbored a bacterium that had previously been found only in soil from Japan,” where he had never been. Another had two types of “extremophile bacteria that typically thrive in ice caps and thermal vents.”

      http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0047712

      1. I agree, the world is a better place because people are different and one person’s obsession can be a resource for others to enjoy, or not.
        Your reference gives “contemplating your navel” a new meaning.

  1. I’ve been looking at this recently- cut-up PET bottles make good collars to get the suck where needed – cheap, expendable and won’t damage anything they hit. However I’ve still to find a good hose – most stuff is too heavy/stiff – washer drain hose is about right, but it makes a loud whistle when the air is on! Anyone know any good light hose sources?

  2. The best light hose I can think of is the stuff the ladies used to use in the old hair dryers…but I’ll be damned if I can find any. Been looking for my CNC. Also been looking for Cad Files to create the dust shield to save design time. Plenty of 3D printer plans, but not much for using the CNC to make its own dust shield. I’ll post mine once I get it done.

  3. there is a skirt around the tool and there is a tube, supposed to collect the dust.
    is it just me or the opening of the tube is _outside_ of the skirt? that does not look really smart… how much of potential dust collection is wasted?

  4. I’m building a “Thien baffle” separator at the moment out of a 20L (5gal) paint can. Simple and efficient – well worth a Google. And I am using pool tube + old vacuum cleaner tube.

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